Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Sometimes life is messy...

"After some days Paul said to Barnabas, 'Come, let us return and visit the believers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.' Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark. But Paul decided not to take with them one who had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not accompanied them in the work. The disagreement became so sharp that they parted company; Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus. But Paul chose Silas and set out, the believers commending him to the grace of the Lord. He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches." Acts 15:36-41 NRSV

We have been involved in house churches off and on for almost 30 years now. A house church is not for the faint hearted. You can't hide in the pew, you're in each others faces too much for that. It can be very rewarding, and at times it can be very messy. Our current housechurch had a messy time a while ago. There were some disagreements and 3 families left. It was to be a temporary leaving, but it has become permanent.

How to handle it? Last night those of us remaining got together to bring closure to it. We prayed and blessed them in absentia. It was very healing, hurts were released as we blessed them in prayer and asked God to prosper them. We sincerely wish the best for them and still love them.

The thing I noticed about the Acts passage is that there was no attempt to hide the fact that it was messy, nor was there an attempt to say who was right. All the church did was commend both parties to the grace of God and go on. We want the same to be true with our mess. No blame, no hiding the fact it was messy, just commend them to the grace of God and go on. It was a very healing way to start the new year.

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